Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI – Sunday, October 8, 2017
Tom Phillips, , and Corey Graves are on commentary.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin defeat The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley). This match came about when Gable and Benjamin got some interview time, but they were distracted by Ryder and Mojo arguing elsewhere in the backstage area. That led to a verbal confrontation, and now we get this match. Both teams show impressive continuity in the early going, trading momentum back and forth. Phillips mentions that both Benjamin and Ryder are former Intercontinental Champions but doesn’t mention that they’re also both former United States Champions and Tag Team Champions. They establish a nice babyface v babyface rhythm here, and Ryder shares a handshake of respect with Gable, but when he goes for the same with Benjamin he gets pulled in for a spinebuster! Nice. We take a commercial break and come back to Gable and Benjamin fully in control. Eventually, Ryder makes the hot tag and Mojo is a house afire. Gable and Mojo have a nice back and forth, and then the referee loses control. The Hype Bros come so close to getting a win, but Mojo gets taken out, an then Ryder gets hit with the Tech Fall. Gable and Benjamin get the win. This started off decent, but they really picked it up and finished strong.
The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) defeat SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) in a Hell in a Cell Match to win the titles at 22:00. New Day have been the Champions since 9.12.17, and this is their first defense. After a brief stare down, everyone goes under the ring and finds a weapon. I love it. New Day is in serious mode tonight, and I think it’s great how they can be hilarious and goofy but also serious and dangerous and both feel legit. The cell plus the various weapons get used early, including a bright purple trombone, which Woods promptly breaks on Jey. The red trombone gets the same treatment. E finds more musical instruments under the ring, like a cow bell and a cymbal. The Usos make a comeback and the now it’s their turn to abuse the New Day with weapons. The mutants in the crowd chant “we want tables,” which I think is just rude. The violence continues, and Kofi adds trash talk from outside the cell. Both teams inflict a lot of damage on each other, but things get taken to another level when Woods gets handcuffed to the ring post and assaulted with a kendo stick from each Uso. Kingston watches on helplessly. E fights alone for a while until Woods makes it back in and fights with his handcuffs on. This is just brutal. E gets taken out and Woods gets destroyed with a pair of kendo sticks. The Usos set a chair on top of Woods and hit the simultaneous Superfly Splash to get the pin and regain the titles. Good luck to everyone that follows that. This was phenomenal, with all four men taking a ridiculous amount of punishment, and a lot of it in creative ways. The violence escalated as they went through, and both teams looked to be on the same level right until the finish. I was especially impressed with Woods here, a he took a huge beating and dished out a lot of cool offense. Awesome match.
Randy Orton defeats Rusev at 17:00. Amazing that this show is happening on Rusev Day isn’t it? They fight back and forth, with Orton going for his big moves early and Rusev avoiding them. Rusev knocks Orton off the apron and to the floor to gain control. After a good long while, Orton does his comeback. You know the one, the same one he always does. Rusev cuts him off and comes back to try the Accolade, but Orton avoids it. After a little bit more back and forth, Orton hits the RKO to get the pin. This wasn’t bad, but it was a little long and not super exciting until the finish.
Baron Corbin defeats United States Champion AJ Styles and Tye Dillinger at 19:00 in a Triple Threat match to win the title. Styles has been the Champion since 7.25.17, and this is his sixth defense. Dillinger was just added to the match on the preshow, as he successfully lobbied GM Bryan Danielson after pinning Corbin on SmackDown last week. Styles and Dillinger get rid of Corbin (sadly, not for the entire match), and have a nice little wrestling exchange. Corbin comes back and takes Styles out, and slowly works on Dillinger. Styles eventually makes it back to the ring to end the searing boredom that comes with Corbin on offense. The match improves dramatically when Styles knocks Corbin to the floor and goes at it with The Perfect 10. Styles locks Dillinger in the Calf Crusher, but Corbin pulls Dillinger to the floor to break it up, and Styles follows with a dive to wipe Corbin out. All three get back in the ring, and everyone is trying to score a knockout blow. Styles busts out the springboard 450 on Corbin, but Dillinger breaks up the pin! After a nice back and forth, Styles blasts Dillinger with the Phenomenal Forearm, but Corbin sneaks back in and dumps Styles to the floor, and then steals the pin and the title! This was way too long for Corbin, even in a triple threat setting, but Styles and Dillinger were good enough here to keep the match on track.
Charlotte Flair defeats SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya by disqualification at 13:00. Natalya has been the Champion since 8.20.17, and this is her second defense. These two have plenty of history, and it’s pretty much always been Charlotte coming out on top. Both women work the leg, with the Champion controlling the bulk of the early action. Charlotte fights back with chops and things but makes the mistake of trying to go for a moonsault. Natalya pulls her down with a sit-out powerbomb. Charlotte goes for the moonsault again, but this time Natalya rolls to the floor, so Charlotte moonsaults to the floor instead! Unfortunately, she injures her knee even more. Despite that, Natalya decides to grab a chair and hit Charlotte in the knee with it for the disqualification. Decent, tv-type match with a crap finish.
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (w/ Samir Singh & Sunil Singh) defeats Shinsuke Nakamura at 12:00 to retain the title. Mahal has been the Champion since 5.21.17, and this is his fifth defense. The Champion controls the early going with his boring crap offense, and when Nakamura fights bac Mahal mostly tries to avoid him. After an eternity, Nakamura makes the big comeback, and he signals for the Kinshasa. Samir and Sunil interfere repeatedly, so referee Charles Robinson sends them to the back. Meanwhile, Nakamura hits Kinshasa, but Mahal grabs the bottom rope. Mahal tries to run, but Nakamura forces him back to the ring. That’s costly, as Mahal connects with the Khallas to get the pin. Slow, dull, and plodding – much like any other Jinder Mahal match.
Bobby Roode defeats Dolph Ziggler at 12:00. The crowd sure likes to say “Glorious” when it’s time to. Other than that, their level of engagement with this match is very low. Roode controls the beginning, Ziggler cuts him off, stuff happens, whatever. Ziggler does all his usual moves, but when he goes for the Superkick, Roode catches him with a spinebuster. A series of reversals on an O’Connor Roll ends with Roode on top, and with a handful of tights, to get the pin. Ziggler immediately attacks after the match, hitting the Zig-Zag. Oh good, more of this is coming. This was just milquetoast stuff with a weak finish. Do you want Roode to look good, or do you want to make it look like he had to cheat to barely get by a guy like Ziggler? Come on, man.
Kevin Owens defeats Shane McMahon in a Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell Match at 39:00. Shane attacks Owens before he can enter the ring and the fight is on. The brawl continues out on the floor for a few minutes, and when they make it into the Cell, Owens is totally in control. Shane makes the occasional comeback, but this is a lot of Owens dishing out punishment. I like Shane and all, but most of his offense looks like crap and it’s hard to take him seriously in a singles match with a guy like Kevin Owens. The mutants in the crowd chant for Tables, and Owens decides to give it to them. Unfortunately for him it backfires, and Shane takes his first control in a long time. Shane brings in a garbage can and hits the Coast 2 Coast. He then uses bolt cutters to open the Cell, and they head back outside. Owens lays Shane out on a table and climbs to the top of the Cell. He thinks twice before jumping, and Shane decides to join him at the top. They fight on top of the Cell and the crowd finally wakes up, chanting “This Is Awesome.” The top of the Cell takes a lot of abuse, including a DDT and a Pop-up Powerbomb. That’s brave to take, no matter how reinforced the ceiling is. Owens tries to climb down, but Shane meets him about half-way and knocks him off the Cell, through the Spanish Announce Table at ringside. Shane gets up and readies another announce table, and then climbs back to the top of the Cell. He goes for the flying elbow, but from out of nowhere – Sami Zayn pulls Owens to safety! Shane crashes through the table with a thud. The medical team comes out and gets Shane prepped for a stretcher ride. Before that can happen, Zayn pulls Owens on top of Shane and insists that the referee count three. That gives Owens the win. This was LONG, like, obscenely long. Shane McMahon has no business going 40 minutes, no matter what the stipulation is or how high the thing he’s going to jump off is. This had some cool moments and the crowd got hot a couple of times, but they stretched everything out to the point of madness, and it really took away from the finish.
The Kickoff match is fun, and the opening Hell in a Cell match is amazing and must-see material. The rest of the card is a dreadful bore, with average at best matches, some with crap finishes. Some may like the main event more than I did, but I maintain that 39 minutes is far too long for any Shane McMahon singles match.
Tags: Hell in a Cell, Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon, WWE